Much loved comedian and entertainer Paul O’Grady has been granted a posthumous Freedom of Wirral, the region he was born and raised.
There’s been calls for this to be granted since the television star, who was loved by many across the nation, passed away on March 28th this year, aged 67. Wirral councillors voted unanimously awarding the Birkenhead-born O’Grady the posthumous Freedom of the Borough.
Growing up in Merseyside, the presenter, famous for his portrayal of alter-ego Lily Savage, later moved to London and eventually settled in Kent.
More than 100,000 people have also signed a petition to have a statue of the national treasure erected to honour him in Birkenhead.
At the council meeting where the motion was passed, Conservative councillor Andrew Hodson said: “This is a very significant step for the council to take as to date only 12 people have been honoured in this way.”
Mr Hodson added that the posthumous award would mean he was being honoured for his ‘eminent service to the borough and people of Wirral’.
Labour councillor Stephen Bennett also said the star ‘never forgot his roots’, and added: “He always promoted this area.”
In an Instagram post on O’Grady’s page on Friday, a spokesperson for his family wrote: “@wirralcouncil have just voted to posthumously bestow the highest honour it has – the Freedom of the Borough – on @paulogrady.
“@andre_portasio and the family are over the moon with the news and would like to thank the then council leader Cllr Janette Williamson, who put forward the motion and all those who supported and voted for it.
“The boy from Birkenhead! Paul would no doubt be surprised but very pleased with this honour. #england #birkenhead #honour.”
O’Grady rose to fame in the 1990s with his comedic drag persona Lily Savage, who was loosely based on his female family members using his mother’s maiden name.
He went on to present BBC One game show Blankety Blank and other light entertainment programmes. Later in his career, the renowned animal lover presented For the Love of Dogs, based at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Others to have received the Freedom of Wirral include former Birkenhead MP Lord Field, the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and PC David Phillips, who was killed on duty in 2016 when he was knocked down by a teenager driving a stolen truck.
Police issue update in search for missing grandad, 81, from Oldham
Officers are supporting Ronald’s family while they continue the search
Greater Manchester Police have issued an update on Ronald Webster, 81, who went missing from Oldham last Thursday.
The news comes after Ronald’s grandchildren made an appeal to the public asking for help to find their beloved grandad and to ‘keep him safe’ until they, or the police can get there.
It was believed the last sightings of the grandfather-of-five were at 10.52 am on Walkers Road, in Limeside, Oldham and again at 3.45pm as he got off the 184 at Huddersfield Bus Station, on September 14th.
However, police have confirmed a new sighting of the pensioner, known by loved ones as ‘Ronnie’, just minutes later at 3.53pm, as he entered Huddersfield Train Station.
It is believed he may have links to the Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough areas, although officers have said they are ‘not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere’.
Ronald’s family shared that he had recently undergone a triple heart bypass and had medication for his heart and for epilepsy, but that he had not taken any of his medicine with him when he went missing.
His grandchildren said that this is the first time he has not come home.
At the time of his disappearance, Ronald was wearing a blue and black coat with grey trousers.
He is described as 4’11 ins with grey hair around the sides, bald on top, and uses a walking stick.
In an update, a spokesperson for GMP said: “Since Ronald was reported missing, officers have been working closely with his loved ones to understand where he might have travelled to.
“It is believed he may have links to Bridlington, Whitby and Scarborough, although officers are not ruling out that he may have travelled elsewhere.
“Whilst officers are continuing to review CCTV from locations of significance, they are also working with colleagues from other forces to ensure everyone is on the lookout for Ronald so we can help him return to his family safe and well.”
Anyone with information about Ronald’s whereabouts should call 101 quoting 1013 of 16/09/2023.
H&M Home is opening in Manchester city centre this weekend
The first 100 members in the queue will receive a free H&M Home gift
At long last, H&M Home is opening up a store selling its interiors range in the city centre.
Shoppers were delighted when the Swedish fashion retailer, full name Hennes & Mauritz, decided to branch out and launch a homeware range in 2009, following in the footsteps of the likes of Zara.
At first, it teased us with a small concession in Selfridges at the Trafford Centre back in 2015, where shoppers and home decor enthusiasts could find affordable pieces that looked as good as those sitting on their Pinterest boards.
But then it closed for a long while and for many shoppers, it left a void that couldn’t be filled, with its home stuff only being available online. No more could you wander into the shop, pick up cute pieces and admire stylish bedding sets to decorate your home.
Recently, it opened up a H&M Home shop within the Trafford Centre which sells everything from cushions to lamps, candles, vases, bed linen, towels, dried flowers and a whole selection of homeware accessories you didn’t even know you needed.
And now a H&M Home shop is coming to the city centre too.
The retailer recently closed the majority of its Market Street store while it undergoes a refurbishment, leaving just a small section open for fans to continue to shop at the high street favourite.
This week, H&M announced that the small section will now become its H&M Home showroom so decor lovers can ‘scratch that interior design itch’ once again.
In a newsletter distributed to its members, H&M said: “You may have seen that our Market Street store is temporarily closed whilst we work on our new look and feel.
“But from 23rd September, you can head down to our H&M HOME showroom in the same location where you can scratch that interior design itch by shopping our latest home decor collection.
“The first 100 members in the queue will receive a free H&M HOME gift and an exclusive offer for the full launch in winter 2023.
“There’s even some exciting new AR technology to help you visualise your living space and enhance your shopping experience just that little bit more.
“If you’re looking for the rest of our assortment, you can find your nearest store in the Trafford Centre and we’re always open at hm.com.”
The H&M Home showroom located on Market Street will open this Saturday, September 23rd. The shop will fully launch in winter this year.
Grandkids of 81-year-old man missing since last Thursday urge public to help find him
‘We love you. We miss you. Grandma needs you, we all need you’
The grandchildren of a missing elderly man from Oldham have urged the public to help search for him.
Ronald Webster, known as ‘Ronnie’ by loved ones, has been missing since last Thursday, September 14th.
The 81-year-old grandfather-of-five was last seen at around 10.52am on Walkers Road, in Limeside, Oldham before getting off the 184 bus at 3.45pm at Huddersfield Bus Station.
Ronald is described as a white male of small build, around 4’11″, grey hair and uses a walking stick. At the time of his disappearance he was wearing a black and blue coat with grey trousers.
Ronnie’s granddaughter Paige Tattersall has been spreading the word of her grandfather’s disappearance across social media in an effort to find him.
She told ITV News: “We’re just getting desperate. Grandma’s absolutely beside herself. She keeps trying to get her shoes on to go find him because she doesn’t understand why he’s not come home.”
Ronnie and his wife, Concepta, have been married for 57 years.
His eldest grandson Kieran Rowlett said he was ‘really, really worried’ about him and that this was the first time he’s gone missing.
“He’s gone for a bit of a wander before, but he has gone and come back,” he said.
“Mentally, he’s brilliant, he can tell you stories from all over the show, but he’s just unable to get about like he used to.”
Ronnie has recently undergone a triple heart bypass, and has prescription medication for that as well as for epilepsy. When he disappeared last week, he did not take any of his medication with him.
Local communities have been showing their support for the family by sharing social media posts and putting up posters around their areas.
Paige said: “People have been so kind. Absolute strangers are approaching us online. They’re out on the streets putting up posters… We appreciate that so much. It only takes one pair of eyes to see him.”
Another of Ronnie’s grandchildren has travelled to Huddersfield where he is leading the search for him.
Ronnie’s family have asked for anyone who knows where he is to look after him until help arrives.
Kieran said: “If anyone does see him, don’t let him leave your sight. Keep him safe, and either the police or us will get there.”
When asked what she would like to say to her grandfather, Paige said: “We love you. We miss you. Grandma needs you, we all need you. If you can just get to a phone, if you can just ring 101 and someone will come and get you.”
Greater Manchester Police have issued a photo of Ronnie captured on CCTV as he was leaving the bus. His family have also released pictures of him in a bid to help bring him home.
Anyone who has seen Ronnie or who may know of his whereabouts is urged to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 quoting 1013 of 16/09/2023.